Multiple news outlets in Ghana are reporting that the nation's National Security Coordinator, Lt. Col. Larry Gbevlo Lartey, has announced that the "mystery jet" that was seized in Istanbul by Turkish officials for supposedly carrying 1.5 tons of gold to Iran, was apparently part of a scam to offload rock samples as gold.
“My gut feeling about this whole thing is that it is a scam, that (substance) is not real gold; eventually we will come to that [conclusion]”, Gbevlo Lartey told Joy FM's Super Morning Show host Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, Thursday February 14, 2013. He said the documentation from Ghana's Geological Survey Department indicated that the cargo was just rock samples of gold that had no commercial value, and were marked for laboratory testing. GhanaWeb identified the two men from the Geological Survey Department who were detained by National Security agents as Deputy Director Dr. Thomas Adu and Senior Technical Officer Justice Adom Akwah.
GhanaWeb also quotes the Information Ministry as saying that "two Ghanaians – Peter Bedzrah and Fredrick Kojo Essumang, operating under the corporate identity of Omanye Gold Mining Ltd from a house at Tanta Hill in Achimota without visible signs of a corporate entity, were thought to be involved in a transaction to supply gold to one Vahid Moradi Moghaddam in Iran." Omanye Gold Mining Ltd was previously identified as the company that had hired the cargo jet in question.
Col. Gbevlo Lartey remarked "You want to find out if those guys who exported this gold are miners of gold; do they really have a mine? Do they have a record of exporting gold? Will they all of a sudden come up with such huge quantities of gold that they could export"?
President John Mahama launched a federal investigation into the supposed cargo jet full of gold when media rumors connected the Ghanaian government with the jet, claiming officials had said it was payment to Iran. It soon came out that the government had no involvement with the jet or its cargo. If the latest reports are correct, it seems that this was a scam that came undone when the jet had to land at a different airport in Turkey than the one it was scheduled for.